The Cincinnati Bengals notched their first win for new head coach Zac Taylor on Thursday night and many players were major contributors to the win. Names, both new and old to the Bengals’ roster, ended up dominating the stat lines.
While most of the attention was on the offensive players, the defensive and special teams units had moments of greatness as well. Cast your vote and sound off on your winner for the Bengals’ preseason Week 2 Most Valuable Player!
Ryan Finley, quarterback: After just two preseason games, the rookie has shown enough to validate the reasoning behind Zac Taylor’s desire to move up to get him in the fourth round of this year’s draft. He had a nice debut against the Chiefs, but really put the pedal to the metal on Thursday night.
Finley didn’t wow folks with the big chunk yardage, but he distributed the ball well and was instrumental in the team’s win. He finished 20-of-26 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Alex Erickson, receiver/kick returner: After receiving some offseason hype as a guy who may be helping the team a bit more on offense, it’s been a bit of tough sledding in that department through two limited appearances in the summer contests. Even so, Erickson had three catches for 15 yards on Thursday night.
But, his fourth quarter punt return for a touchdown was the game-sealer. Erickson bolted down the right sideline and broke a late tackle on a 75-yard return to put the Bengals in command.
Auden Tate, wide receiver: For the second straight summer, Tate continues to impress with his unique skill set. He isn’t a guy who will run by many NFL defensive backs, but his catching radius and ability to catch contested balls continue to keep him in the conversation for a final roster spot.
One could argue that Tate bailed out Finley on a couple of receptions with his acrobatics and he continues to be a size mismatch for opposing defenses. He had four catches for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Drew Sample, tight end: It wasn’t the strongest of debuts for the rookie tight end against Kansas City, but his versatility shined on Thursday. Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan moved Sample around a bit, and he responded with two catches for 15 yards and a touchdown reception.
Kerry Wynn, defensive end: The defense was a bit up-and down on Thursday, but the new rotational defensive lineman had a couple of impact plays. Wynn had a sack to stall a Washington drive, and then recovered a fumble from Dwayne Haskins on a Jordan Willis sack, which ultimately led to the Tate touchdown.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Most Valuable Player in their 23-13 win over the Redskins?
This poll is closed
QB Ryan Finley
WR/KR Alex Erickson
WR Auden Tate
TE Drew Sample
DL Kerry Wynn